PhilSci Archive

Approximation and Idealization: Why the Difference Matters

Norton, John D. (2011) Approximation and Idealization: Why the Difference Matters. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
PDF
Ideal_Approx.pdf - Draft Version

Download (348kB)

Abstract

It is proposed that we use the term “approximation” for inexact description of a target system and “idealization” for another system whose properties also provide an inexact description of the target system. Since systems generated by a limiting process can often have quite unexpected, even inconsistent properties, familiar limit systems used in statistical physics can fail to provide idealizations, but are merely approximations. A dominance argument suggests that the limiting idealizations of statistical physics should be demoted to approximations.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Norton, John D.
Additional Information: For updates, see http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/jdnorton.html
Keywords: Approximation, idealization, phase transitio, thermodynamic limit
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: John Norton
Date Deposited: 25 May 2011 16:05
Last Modified: 25 May 2011 16:05
Item ID: 8622
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8622

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item